Monday, 29 April 2013

April Workshops

This is the bouquet which we made at my April workshops last week. I ran the same workshop twice - once on Thursday evening and again on Friday morning. We used an exuberant mix of English spring flowers shown off in a lovely Heron Cross jug. Here is the room set up with the delicate spring flowers – tulips, bluebells and narcissi (Silver Chimes) in Kilner jars. They looked and smelled just lovely, and they encapsulated everything that is hopeful about Spring.

And next you can see the alstroemeria, the fantastic solomon’s seal and the foliage (myrtle and eucalyptus) in buckets waiting to go….and also 3 different colours of hyacinth. Participants could choose their colour of hyacinth and also choose the colour/pattern of their jug. The final ingredient was this lovely acid green hellebore from our garden.

We used hand-tying techniques in the workshop. We started off making a small posy (using tulips, bluebells, hellebore, narcissi and foliage) so that everyone could practice the technique before we got onto the main act. Here is an example of a finished posy…..very, very pretty.

Then here are a couple of examples of completed bouquets – one in a pink jug with a violet hyacinth at the centre, and the other in a blue jug with a blue hyacinth (oh..and there's a celebratory glass of wine as well!).

Then here are some pictures of participants looking very happy with their finished arrangements. They deserve to look pleased with themselves as they all managed the hand-tying process really well and took home some gorgeous bouquets and posies.

I used the flowers left over from the workshops to make an arrangement in this Chinese vase which I bought in a Sheffield antique market a year ago. It is a beautiful vase with an exquisite pattern of flowers and butterflies. I have two the same and am planning to experiment more with them this year – I think they would look lovely at a spring or summer wedding.

At the beginning of his poem The Waste Land, T S Eliot wrote:

‘April in the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.’

This really captures my mood at the moment. I so want the lilacs, the bleeding hearts, the bluebells, the aquilegia and the roses to all get going. Everything seems slow and dull this year, but, at last, it is beginning to stir. Here are a few pictures of the flowers that are growing in our garden now – hellebore, hyacinths, tulips, euphorbia and, best of all, snakeshead fritillary. We have just started planting out ammi and snapdragons that we have grown from seed, and the cosmos and scabious are not far behind….lots to look forward to.